Earlier this month, Mahindra requested the US trade regulatory body to consider the 2009 agreement with FCA and its impact on the investigation
Mahindra & Mahindra could face a major setback in the US as it is being investigated for allegedly infringing Jeep’s design with its Roxor off-roader. The US International Trade Commission has initiated a probe and within 45 days from last Tuesday the date of completion of the investigation will be set.
The largest passenger UV maker in the country has responded by stating that FCA’s compliant was baseless as the Roxor does not compete with any of Jeep’s vehicles and it is intended to be a pure off-roader. Earlier this month, Mahindra requested the US trade regulatory body to consider the 2009 agreement with FCA and its impact on the investigation.
FCA should never bring such claims if Mahindra used an approved grille just as in the Roxor according to a spokesman from the Mumbai-HQed brand. In reply to FCA’s lawsuit with ITC, Mahindra said the breach of contract would continue to cause “irreparable harm, including loss of goodwill, harm to reputation, and loss of fair competition and competitive advantage”.
The Italian-American conglomerate wants Mahindra to stop selling the Roxor but some experts claim that the complaint is “ambiguous” considering that the off-roader is entirely developed by Mahindra and has its roots with the old Willy’s Jeep design. It is worth noting that Chrysler ran into similar protest with Mahindra previously for using the vertically slated grille in the Scorpio pickup.
The outcome of the case still depends on United States laws and it could hamper the progress Mahindra has made since inaugurating its facility in Detroit. Mahindra became the first non-domestic brand since Mazda in 1987 to set up a factory there last November with a proposed investment of $600 million (approx. Rs. 4,330 crore) through the years.
The Roxor has been well received among US buyers and its production has been ramped up to meet the demands. It is based on Thar off-roader and targets majority of customers from agricultural industry. Mahindra has around 300 dealerships in North America and is planning to expanding the reach of the brand further.